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The Rules of Moviegoing

Mar 02, 2014 | 12:58pm EST

Jack and JillColumbia Pictures via Everett Collection

If you're like me, you love going to the movies. You are thankful for the accessibility digital streaming affords, but you can never replace the experience of the darkened movie theater. So let's get one thing straight: too many people simply don't know proper moviegoing etiquette. Not only are there rules of moviegoing, but there are also different rules that apply to different kinds of movies. Below is an in-depth explanation of these rules and why you should follow them.

Don't eat real food, ever
Popcorn and candy is one thing, but KFC is something entirely different. Chances are if I can smell your food from three rows back, you've gone too far.

Know what kinds of movies you can handle
When I saw Blue is the Warmest Color recently, a group of teenage boys were laughing uncontrollably during the sex scenes. Everyone else in the theater began to hate them. Don't ever be in that group.

You can only show up late to a children's movie
Showing up late to a movie is the most obnoxious thing you can do. If you're going to do it, make sure it's during an animated film that no one really wants to watch but children who are stimulated by anything. The children won't notice and the adults won't care.

Don't ask questions
One of the actors in The Grand Budapest Hotel looks familiar, and you want to know who he is. It's tempting to ask your friend sitting next to you, but doing so disrupts everyone else in the theater. Just wait until the credits, or when you're back home at your computer. exists for a reason, after all.

Don't judge a movie by its title
I remember when a mother brought her two young children to a 7 PM showing of Hot Tub Time Machine. She judged the movie by the title. It was the worst decision of her life.

You must always clap when Meryl Streep is on screen
Do I really need to explain this one?

First dates are limited to bad movies
You just met someone you're enamored of and want to take him or her out on a date. Dinner and a movie sounds tempting, but if it's your first date, please don't take this special someone to the latest Oscar contender. No one in the audience wants to watch you try to build a relationship in two hours. Instead, check out Son of God. This way, your attempt at courtship will be the audience's entertainment when the movie sucks. 

None of these rules apply to midnight movies
If you're at a midnight showing of The Room, you can pretty much do whatever you want.

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